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Health ; 13(6):629-636, 2021.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-1365771


COVID-19 has highlighted the underlying global burden from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the lack of resiliency in health systems to tackle highly preventable risk factors, which have left populations vulnerable to acute health crises. The persistent issue of unhealthy behaviors, particularly those related to a high-sodium diet, suggests inadequate policy attention and insufficient funding for public health and behavioral research. This year, Japan will host the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit 2021. The summit is being held in the era of COVID-19, offering a historic opportunity to make a difference on the global health agenda for food and nutrition and to reaffirm the global commitment to prevent future health crises by addressing the growing burden of NCDs and building better prepared and more resilient health systems. This perspective article suggests that we, global health researchers and decision-makers, should rethink the value of using "Umami" substances as candidates for a practical salt-reducing alternative that originated in Japan (while maintaining the affordability, accessibility, availability, and desirability of healthy food). Reduced salt intake will help address the global syndemic of COVID-19 pandemic and high rates of hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes, and other NCDs. By addressing these issues, it will make countries more resilient to future pandemic threats.